Flavor Ban Backfired? - An Example of Early Ban in Denmark
More either went back to smoking or turned to the black market for flavored vapes, according to The Danish National Board of Health, which published the latest figures on Danish smoking habits on February 2023.
Despite the implementation of various measures since 2020, including plain packaging for cigarettes and e-cigarettes, a flavor ban, price increases on cigarettes, and smoke-free school and working hours, the results have been counterproductive.
In fact, smoking rates have increased in Denmark. According to the report, there were 18% Danish smokers in 2020, and now there are 19%.
Young adults (15-29-year-olds) are the group that the government aims to prevent from starting smoking. However, the number of smokers in this age group has increased from 23% in 2020 to 25% in 2022.
E-cigarette usage has also increased, with 3% of Danes using e-cigarettes in 2020, and now there are 5%.
Among 15-29-year-olds, the number has gone up from 4% to 7%.
The use of fruit and candy/soft drink flavors in e-cigarettes has increased significantly, despite the flavor ban. In 2020, 47% of e-cigarette users used fruit flavors, and 21% used candy/soft drink flavors. In 2022, these figures have risen to 67% and 32%, respectively.
Similarly, in 2020, 67% of 15-29-year-old e-cigarette users used fruit flavors, and 32% used candy/soft drink flavors. In 2022, the figures have increased to 83% and 41%, respectively.
Furthermore, the number of e-cigarette users who have completely stopped smoking has decreased from 41% in 2020 to 38% in 2022. This may suggest that the flavor ban may have made it less effective to use e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.
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